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New Age

Related: new - music

New age music's relation to ambient music: The term ambient was popularized by Brian Eno in the late '70s. The percussionless, subtle tonalities of records like Music for Airports were perfect for the CD format when it came onstream in the mid '80s. Ambient techno and its kitsch associate, New Age, are the modern equivalent of the exotic sound experience that developed to fit the technologies of the '50s. Just as mass distribution of the LP and the home hi-fi gave us film soundtracks and Martin Denny, the CD and the Discman have given us ambient techno.


New Age describes a broad movement in Western culture characterised by an individual eclectic approach to spiritual exploration. Rather than follow an organised religion its members construct their own spiritual journey based on material taken as needed from the mystical traditions of all the worlds religions as well as shamanism, neopaganism and occultism. The name also refers to the market segment in which goods and services are sold to people in the movement.

This movement is particularly concerned with the unity of mind, body and spirit. Its members may dip into many diverse teachings and practises, some main stream and some fringe and formulate their own beliefs and practices based on their experiences in each. No clear membership or rigid boundaries actually exist. The movement is most visible where its ideas are traded, in specialist bookshops, music stores and fairs.

The New Age movement has some attributes of a new, emerging religion but is currently a loose network of spiritual seekers, teachers, healers and other participants.

The name New Age originated in 1960s counterculture. It was popularized by the American mass media during the late 1980s, to describe the alternative spiritual subculture interested in such things as meditation, channeling, reincarnation, crystals, psychic experience, holistic health, environmentalism, and various “unsolved mysteries” such as UFOs, Earth mysteries and Crop circles. Typical activities of this subculture include participation in study or meditation groups, attendance at lectures and fairs; the purchase of books, music, and other products such as crystals or incense; patronage of fortune-tellers, healers and spiritual counselors. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Age [Apr 2005]

The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge (1968) - Carlos Castaneda

The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge (1968) - Carlos Castaneda [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

In the psychedelic '60s, Carlos Castaneda wandered deep into the Mexican desert and brought back the chemically enhanced key to mystic paperback success. But was he a shaman or a sham? Mick Brown looks for enlightenment. --http://www.geocities.com/skepdigest/sorcerer.html

Don Juan Matus is a major character in the series of books by Carlos Castaneda ("Don" is a common, polite, term of deference in Spanish).

In Castaneda's books, Don Juan Matus was a Yaqui Indian whom he met during anthropological field work around the U.S.-Mexico border. On subsequent visits, Don Juan revealed himself to Castaneda as being a sort of medicine man who had inherited (through a lineage of teachers) an ancient Central American practice for refining one's awareness of the universe.

Taisha Abelar and Florinda Donner-Grau – associates of Castaneda – also wrote about the same Don Juan Matus, although he went by different pseudonyms in their books such as Mariano Aureliano. In all of these books, Don Juan Matus was a nagual who was leader of a group of practitioners of tradition of perceptual enhancement.

The actual existence of Don Juan is a matter of some dispute between Castaneda's supporters and critics. If Don Juan was a real person, his real name was apparently changed to maintain his anonymity. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_Juan_Matus

See also: mysticism - anthropology - psychedelic - sixties counterculture - drugs in literature - 1968 - art of dreaming - new age - South America

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